Dreamville Records is done watching the throne. With an undeniable momentum, J. Cole's clan is staking its claim as hip-hop's No. 1 collective. Sleep at your own peril.

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of XXL magazine, on stands now.

Lute
Age: 29
Reppin’: Charlotte
Signed to Dreamville: 2015

XXL: Who were your favorite rap crews growing up?

Lute: OutKast, Goodie Mob, Three 6 Mafia. I’m from the South so that’s all we’d listen to. Pharcyde, shit like that. Those are my favorite. Wu-Tang [Clan] because ODB is like in my top five [artists] of all time.

How would you describe the Revenge of the Dreamers III sessions?

Them shits are crazy. Every day is [about] trying to find certain vibes in certain rooms. I’ve never been in an environment like this before. Seeing everybody doing their thing, just there to create and make the best thing possible: That shit is fire. That’s what it’s all about to me: Making great music.

Aside from Dreamville’s compilation album, what have you been you working on?

I’m working on three different projects right now. I got some shit for the hip-hop niggas, some shit for niggas that wanna hear me on upbeat-type shit and then I got some shit that’s completely left field that I just want to experiment with. I’m just trying to experiment with music because I don’t want to be put in a box. I don’t want to be just a hip-hop artist. Niggas know I can spit, but at the same time I want to make music that got replay value.

Speaking of replay value, got any recurring dreams?

I always have this dream that I’m on stage and I’m performing my littest shit. But when I wake up, I don’t know what those words are. The crowd was rocking, niggas is really into it. I’m trying to remember what the fuck I said ’cause I need to put that shit on pen and pad. I feel like every day I’m recreating that, trying to find some way to really connect with the people through my lyrics.

What personal goals do you have in mind for this year?

I’m putting respect on my name. Niggas gotta respect who I am. I want all the smoke.

Styling by Raeana Anaïs.

XXL

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